This category appears to apply to approximately 4% of humanity. By many definitions and speculations that I have been exposed to, it falls under the broader umbrella category of Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD), which may be defined as “a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others.” At the least, sociopathy is a very close cousin. Key characteristics of APD are:
1) A failure to conform to social norms
2) A prominent lack of remorse
3) A penchant for deceit
4) Predominant impulsivity
5) Aggressiveness and irritability
6) Disregard for the safety of all
7) Persistent irresponsibility
Specific descriptions and a universal definitive definition of Sociopathy still appear to be somewhat lacking in the literature that I have been able to review. Nonetheless, certain characteristics are agreed upon as being extremely prominent, highly suggestive, and almost definitive for the characterization. Scales of sociopathic traits and tendencies seem to have become the most current approach in psychoanalysis and definitive diagnosis of the condition. The PCL-R (Hare) and the Psychopathic Deviate of the MMPI are examples of such qualifiers that remain debatable. The following “markers” or “identifiers” appear to be the universally or almost universally accepted core components of sociopathy regardless of other variabilities.
1) Extreme superficial charm (sociopathic charisma)
2) Lack of empathy – specifically, Hot Empathy – and shallowness of emotion
3) An absence of conscience
4) An Incapability of love
5) Excessive need for constant stimulation and drama (bored easily)
6) A grandiose sense of self worth
7) Pathological lying
7) Conducts parasitic relationships with their friends including passive aggressive behavior
8) Specifically “Targets” an empath or empaths
9) Focuses only on trumping and dominating others
10) Bonds with others through mimicry of similarity and intimacy
11) Displays unpredictable fits of rage
12) Fakes or exaggerates illness
13) Manipulates people via sexual engagement
14) Suicide threats and proclamations of intent are rarely carried out
15) Sex life is trivial, mundane, impersonal, and without meaning
16) Incapable of extended life plans and goals
In addition and/or perhaps in more specific qualification of the above traits, the further behaviors and patterns are also commonly associated with the sociopath.
1) Described to have piercing eyes and a mesmerizing gaze
2) Often demanding of undue sympathy
3) Highly likely to lie about credentials, education, and their past achievements
4) Enjoyment at bullying co-workers or competitors
5) Often emotionally bullying to intimate partners, eventually isolating and alienating them from others
6) Often employing pets as props to appear sensitive and caring
7) May run rings around therapists
8) Often manipulatively isolate their children from the other spouse or ex-parent
9) Frequently have a sociopathic parent/genetic link
10) Fond of getting others to perform
taboo behavioral acts
11) Able to manifest appearance of ultra-attention and ultra-fun persona towards whomever when preferred for manipulation
12) Display exceptionally quick decision making when confronted with high conflict scenarios
13) High intellect
The penultimate goal of the sociopath is to dominate everyone. It isn’t really a choice per se. They just believe that that is the endpoint of existence. They do not feel or perceive love in any manner, thus it is also a non-existent force in their life. The same is true for conscience and empathy. The concept and ramifications of both on their behavior and their perception is totally lacking. Later in this piece, I will discuss possible “cross-over” states or lower degrees of sociopathology that I believe to be hybrids between empathy and sociopathy, but for the moment, let the discussion remain more pure and representative of the common perceptions of the more archetypal sociopath categorization.
The primary trigger for sociopaths displaying seemingly unprovoked fits of rage seems to be related to them being trumped, played, or outmaneuvered by another. This may be related to present actuality or might be just a present manifestation (seemingly occurring out of nowhere) resulting from the flare up in their own mind from a memory recall of such an event in the past. Other stimuli, which one would expect to induce rage in most normal people, often produce a minimal effect on a sociopaths state of temperament.
Sociopaths are often experts in mimicry and most people are unable to see, identify, or believe that they exist as they do. Almost everyone looks and perceives the world through their own emotions and belief systems, thus the empaths and the apaths tend to remain ignorant and/or skeptical about a person being capable of truly being a sociopath. In actuality, empaths and apaths are likely to choose self-delusion via some form of excuse or excuses to avoid acknowledgement of a sociopaths existence, including their intricate schemes and behavior. The Sociopathic Triad specifically relates to this dynamic and will be discussed in detail in a later segment of this piece. The sociopaths do not possess empathy (hot) or emotion, but they are supremely better than most at recognizing such in others. This is a primary key to their super-predator state of mimicry and manipulation.
In addition, these super-predators are not discouraged by punishment or negative consequence. Scientific evidence has displayed excessive dopamine release (4 times the norm) in their brains associated with a hypersensitive reaction to the attainment of “rewards.” The most common forms of these rewards are money, sexual conquest, trumping an empath, and the enjoyment of intoxicating stimulants. An obvious correlation with addiction or obsessive compulsive behavior in the process of attainment of these rewards frequently, though not always, exists.
In the next segment, I will discuss the interactions of empaths, apaths, and sociopaths in greater detail.
To be continued…